Today my baby boy turns 17

Today my son, my baby boy, the youngest of my tribe, my #8 turns 17.

He is a senior in high school.

He is a man child looking like a full grown man.

He thinks he is a grown ass man.

Oh how wise and all knowing are the beings that are teenagers.

That amazing time when everything is confusing and you must control it to find some sort of sanity.

Or was that just my story?

Watching my kids grow up and each one go through a very similar know all of the answers period, I know that it will pass.

I know that they present as complete dicks and unreasonable adult size toddlers that dont’ respond very well to reason or push back. Yet, they come out of it.

It hurts to let them push me away from a time where they needed me so much.

My guilt of not being always available when they still needed can be overwhelming but I know I had to do what I had to do (work, nursing school) to support the family and for my own personal integrity in being a responsible adult with goals & visions and to teach them that they can and will do it, accomplish it, #killit

My son was born in the middle of my living room in a big tub bought at TSC. It was some kind of horse trough or something. It was much cheaper than an aquadoula tub and I really wanted a water birth. We were already paying out of pocket for the midwifery services, prenatal, birth, and postpartum since medicaid refused to pay for those serviecs (WTF! still!). We were struggling financially because…this was #8 on one income. I’m thankful that I got to have that homebirth.

My midwife came over that morning for a prenatal visit. I had had sporadic possible contractions all that morning which could have been warm-ups, who knew?

She told me that I might go into labor that day. She gave me some homeopathy treatments, the first I had ever experienced!

Thank you, Kip Kozlowski.

You have taught and empowered me so much!

After she left, i continued to “warm up” but I am a tough broad so I just kept doing what I had to do.

Lexie Schafer had a piano lesson that day. I was bundling up to take her and realized I was having some crazy contractions that were getting stronger, longer, and closer together.

One of the reasons I wanted a home birth was because during labor I get very claustrophobic and I didn’t want to be in a car in labor. I had done that way too many times (seven times to be exact) and this time I didn’t have to do it, so why the fuck was I even thinking about going to the piano lesson????

Yeah, probably pride and ego,

I can do eeeeeeet!

I called the piano teacher, this hippie, musician dude and told him I was in labor and Lexie wouldn’t be in for her lesson. While on the phone, I started having a contraction.

I was trying to hold it together and he was being all trippy, “wooooowwww dude, like right now, you’re having a baby????”

I got off the phone and called my ex-husband. He was in Grand Rapids and on his way.

The kids and I pulled the tub into the living room. It had been on my front porch.

We started filling the tub. Shit. WE had just ran the dishwasher so we were out of hot water.


We seriously started boiling water for the tub.

I went for a walk around the ponds. Doing the same movement that I had done all of the pregnancy walking around the ponds during the summer watching the kids swimming.

I walked slow. I labored hard.

While I was walking, my lovely children cleaned the house because I really didn’t want to have a baby in a dirty house.

They lit my “birth candles”.

I called my midwife and doula.

My ex-husband came home.  He took over the tub filling.

My doula showed up.

I didn’t want much touching.  I was in my own space.

My midwife showed up.

I got in the tub.

Jesse started timing my contractions.

Later, my midwife told me she was thankful he had that job (he was 10, had a stopwatch, and a job, he did an amazing job) because she used his times for her charting.

I remember smelling Kip behind me.  She smelled like coffee.  It was awful, obviously I wasn’t myself!!

Smells were so overwhelming during labor.  During #3, my midwife smelled like onions.  It was awful too.


I was scared during pregnancy about that point where I have to push the baby out.  It was always so much work and I didn’t want to do it.  My midwife had told me that I didn’t have to push, that the baby would still come out!


I didn’t really believe her but I didn’t want to push so I was willing to believe her. 

I had done a lot of work that pregnancy on the power of my body and the energy of women and the innate knowledge

that is in my body to do the pregnancy and to do the labor and

to do the birth.

 I wanted to believe in my strength and the strength of my body.

I wanted to believe.

I looked at Kip and said I feel like pushing.

But I’m scared.

She said “push or not, if you feel like it”

My response: “OH! I think the head is out…or I pooped in the tub”

Ed jumped in the tub.

The rest of the baby came out.

We pulled him up out of the water.


My baby. My baby. My baby.

All the kids were there.

Isaiah was napping and woke up to all of this happening.

Poor guy, he was a little shocked. He was 3.

As I sat in the tub holding my little Nedders, yes he was a boy, I saw my parents pulling past the house. 

Ed or the kids or someone hailed them.

My mom came in and brought a little bitty football jersy: E. Smith

Emmitt Smith jersey for E (Edward) Smith.

Fucking perfect.

My family was complete.

They got me out of the tub.  I showered. 

We all piled in my bed. Me and the kids.

We ate pizza and snuggled my baby.

Welcome to the world man child!

I love you Ned Smith!

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